mavi marmara 311 AP.
(photo credit: AP)
International pro-Palestinian groups are preparing a massive flotilla of ships
to the Gaza Strip in the spring, to coincide with the first anniversary of the
Israeli raid on the Mavi Marmara in late May, organizers said on
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The convoy will be named “Freedom Flotilla 2” and is expected to
include delegations from close to a dozen countries including, for the first
time, vessels from the US and Canada.
According to the organizers, the
various groups are in the process of raising money, buying vessels and
On Sunday, the Turkel Commission submitted a
report to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that cleared the government and the
Israel Navy of wrongdoing when lethal force was used to stop the Mavi Marmara
from breaking the blockade on the Gaza Strip last May.
Dror Feiler, an
Israeli- Swedish musician and artist who lives in Stockholm – and one of the
organizers behind the new flotilla – said that the flotilla would try to reach
Gaza on May 31, the same day that the Israel Navy stopped the Turkish flotilla
The coalition behind the new blockade-busting effort includes
the Turkish IHH and the Free Gaza Movement, both of which were involved in the
May flotilla. It is demanding “an immediate and complete lifting of the closure,
including a lifting of the travel ban as well as the ban on exports from
According to Feiler, the new flotilla will include activists from
Norway, Spain, the US, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, Indonesia and
“The sea is not always predictable but our goal is to get there
the same day or at least close to the same day as the last flotilla,” he said.
“Our objective is to get Israel to lift the sea blockade over Gaza and we will
keep on trying until we succeed.”
Huwaida Arraf, one of the heads of the
Free Gaza Movement that organized the last flotilla with the Turkish IHH
organization, said that Freedom Flotilla 2 would be “nonviolent” but would make
every effort to reach the Gaza Strip.
“We are aware that Israel has
attacked us in the previous times without justification.
is illegal and just because they threaten to use force does not mean that we
need to stay silent,” Arraf said.
“This is a nonviolent
The people of Gaza have the right for freedom and if Israel wants
to use force against us and kill people like they did last time, then let that
be out there for the whole world to see.”
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